# Tips for teaching S2...

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by lucyrs27, Aug 21, 2011.

1. ### lucyrs27

Hello all, would welcome a little advice.
Have taught stats for the first time last year and enjoyed it very much, despite having a challenging (large, noisy, demanding) class. The S1 results are in and seem ok (within normal limits hee hee) but HOD is unimpressed. We have had some disagreements over my teaching methods in the past and I know she is not feeling confident in me next year. I would like to ensure I'm as confident as I can be in September so obviously I'm working through the material and exam papers at the moment...but any tips on other things, like methods of explanation, ways to introduce or elucidate concepts, or any other helpful titbits that only tend to accumulate with experience? It's MEI exam board.

2. ### lucyrs27

Hello all, would welcome a little advice.
Have taught stats for the first time last year and enjoyed it very much, despite having a challenging (large, noisy, demanding) class. The S1 results are in and seem ok (within normal limits hee hee) but HOD is unimpressed. We have had some disagreements over my teaching methods in the past and I know she is not feeling confident in me next year. I would like to ensure I'm as confident as I can be in September so obviously I'm working through the material and exam papers at the moment...but any tips on other things, like methods of explanation, ways to introduce or elucidate concepts, or any other helpful titbits that only tend to accumulate with experience? It's MEI exam board.

3. ### briceanusNew commenter

Do all the past-papers yourself. But do them with explanations as to what and why.
eg. Use yates corrections here because there is only 1 dof., or Poisson of X and Y is Poisson of X+Y, E(X2) is from squaring the values, not the probability, etc
Doing the papers yourself will uncover many little nuances that you won't find ny exercise books only.
Good luck
Bric

4. ### whistler

I agree with Bric's advice on doing the papers yourself and I also try and explain my methods as I do it - sounds mad but it works for me.
As I've only ever taught S2 to very small classes I try to make methods memorable as "group work" type things aren't really an option eg Poisson, my introductory lesson featured a fish recipe and working out how many of the class would get food poisoning depending on the rate of it. Slightly bizarre but my students remembered it and passed with flying colours.

If, like me, you are not an expert on Statistics, you need to read the mark schemes and examiner's reports very carefully. For example, they expect the answer "bivariate Normal" for questions such as "when should you use PPMCC"; this is not in the textbook or the syllabus. In the report on the summer 2010 paper, they mentioned that candidates were expected to inerpolate for the 4th decimal place of the z value, even though numbers in the question were to no more than 2 s.f. You also need to be careful about wording in hypothesis test questions, and defining the variable properly. Care is also needed interpreting the CHi squared stuff.
It is not a hard paper on the whole, but a lot of marks can be dropped if you are not familiar with exam expectations.

6. ### lucyrs27

Thanks very much sounds like good advice to me. *shuffles off to read lots of examiners reports*